John Legend took the world by storm when he released his heart-wrenching track, ‘All of Me’. This tune had everyone attempting to sing along, despite the slight struggle to hit all those high notes! Today, Legend celebrates his 41st birthday! Born in Ohio, the singer’s got quite a musical background. His father was a drummer, while his mother sang and directed the church choir. His grandmother too, had a flair for music as she was the church organist.
Legend’s love for music bloomed in college. He served as the president and musical director of a co-ed jazz and acappella group called Counterparts. Years later, ever since he stepped onto the scene in 2004, he has perused his love for R&B music. Legend released his debut album, ‘Get Lifted’, at the end of the year and it even featured stars like Kanye West and will.i.am. It even managed to debut at the No.7 spot on the Billboard charts, and sell 116,000 copies in its first week. So, clearly, he was off to a fantastic start! And that’s why it’s important to look back on some of his lesser known gems.
This beautiful ballad from the “August Rush” soundtrack perfectly captures a sense of longing. Legend has always been quite the master at ballads, and with “Someday,” he proved just that.
2. If you’re out there
This one is the second single from Legend’s album, Evolver. The song was released digitally on August 24th, 2008. It was inspired by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and was later posted as a free download on Obama’s website. The song’s major theme revolves around Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” particularly with the lines “We don’t have to wait for destiny / we should / be the change that we / want to see.” This single’s one that not many R&B vocalists can execute with the same heart that Legend does it with.
Legend wasn’t all about ballads. Though that was his forte, he could make quite the funky bop as seen in 2006’s “Stereo”. This one’s from his second album, Once Again, which wasn’t a huge hit on the charts, but is still worth the praise as Legend truly stepped out of his comfort zone to craft this one! Oh and interestingly enough, the crooner also met his now-wife Chrissy Teigen when producing the music video!
4. Save room
Joining “Stereo” on the charts in 2006 was this nice ballad. Save Room’s music video, was shot in various locations in New York City and features Legend in relations with several different women. He is seen trying to stay in relationships with the women but having trouble doing so. What makes this song different from Legend’s previous singles is the lack of accompaniment, specifically the piano which is not used in this song. The absence of the piano is meant to profile Legend as a singer and not merely a pianist.
5. ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Ariana Grande and Legend covered Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson’s “Beauty and the Beast” as a title track for Disney’s 2017 live-action adaptation of the film starring Emma Watson. The song’s music video has accrued more than 174 million views, which is unsurprising considering that this was a collaboration between two immensely talented vocalists.
So, if you haven’t listened to these tracks yet, it’s high time you do!